Zerto Taps Ex-VMware, Cisco Exec to Head Channel, Cloud Sales

The new hire will focus on continuing to grow the company's combined channel business.

Todd R. Weiss

March 8, 2019

4 Min Read
New Hire

Zerto, the disaster recovery and IT resiliency provider, has hired former VMware and Cisco channel executive Jim Ortbals to drive growth for the company’s newly combined worldwide channel partner and cloud businesses.

Zerto introduced a cloud service provider (CSP) model in 2012. Ortbals, whose title is vice president of worldwide channel and cloud sales, will lead a single, unified partner strategy, the company said.


Zerto’s Jim Ortbals

The new hire, who has almost 20 years of experience in the technology industry, previously worked in at VMware and Cisco, building and developing channel teams and partner ecosystems. He also ran the global sales operations for VOSS Solutions and had sales roles at Allot Communications and Cisco. In his new position with Zerto, he will manage all partner, cloud and reseller relationships for the company.

“I’ve extensively worked in the reseller channels and cloud channels,” Ortbals told Channel Futures. “Most of my career, in fact. But a lot of time has been spent on the cloud side.”

After a diverse career working in jobs from being the head of sales for a small technology startup to his channel work with VMware, Ortbals said he is looking forward to helping Zerto grow its operations with fervor.

“What struck me as exciting about Zerto was the chance to come and run it all for a rapidly expanding company and lead it on a global basis,” he said. “The line between what is a cloud provider and what is a reseller have been blurring quite a bit. So, in my opinion, it’s a great opportunity, at this point in our trajectory, to come in and set the strategy, implement it and execute on it by knocking down some of the obstacles that stand in the way of how cloud providers engage with resellers and vice versa.”

Ortbals said his long experience in the IT business world has prepared him well for his new post.

“I’ve been in the trenches, working with resellers and understanding their challenges,” he said. “Likewise, I’ve done the same with cloud providers, understanding their business models, and understanding the challenge of taking technology and adopt it into a service offering.”

Bring together Zerto’s cloud and channel partner programs together under one banner for the first time will present its own unique challenges, he explained.

“What’s exciting is bringing that experience into building one succinct channel strategy that recognizes the strengths of each and build out the programmatic incentives, structure and go-to-market [plans] around each,” said Ortbals. “We already have a fantastic channel ecosystem — it’s a who’s who of partners. Where I’m going to look to invest in are areas or regions and verticals that we could be stronger in. I plan to be more targeted in our channel recruitment.”

A major goal for Ortbals will be working to make Zerto, which does 100 percent of its business through the channel, more relevant to its partners, he said.

“There’s no need for convincing of the value of the channel within the company,” he said. “The next stage is how do we proactively work with our channel partners on a day-in and day-out basis to organically grow the business through the channel directly.”

To accomplish these goals, Ortbals said he will leverage and build upon …

… the channel relationships he’s developed throughout his career.

“It’s my goal to make sure Zerto is top-of-mind when people think of IT resilience,” he said. “Building Zerto’s brand within the channel is also important to me. Awareness in the channel community will be an ongoing effort for me and my team.”

Ziv Kedem, Zerto CEO, said Ortbals’ appointment brings the company valuable experience to help drive its relationships and growth potential with its channel and CSP partners.

“Jim’s experience is exactly what we need to leverage our current, unique position with channel and CSP partners,” said Kedem. “Jim will help our existing channel partners and CSPs form strong partnerships that will drive innovation and adoption of IT resilience solutions for customers.”

Zerto’s flagship product is its IT Resilience Platform, an enterprise-grade platform which customers can use to replace multiple disaster and data protection applications and services. The platform combines disaster recovery, backup and cloud mobility services for users.

Zerto’s partner network includes more than 1,800 VARs and systems integrators and more than 350 cloud service providers. The company says it has more than 6,000 customers around the world.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and eWEEK.com, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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